Skip to main content
Health and safety

Have your say on inland waterway crewing rules

12 June 2024

A public consultation has opened on European inland waterways, which could lead to new EU legislation on crewing rules.

Currently there are no EU rules on crewing requirements for inland waterway transport. Crewing standards often date back almost 30 years and differ between member states and river basins. Considerable developments have taken place in recent years that affect the sector.

This new initiative aims to introduce easy-to-use crewing rules at EU level that are easy to enforce, as well as digital tools for inland waterway transport.

Defining the crewing requirements for Inland waterways transport is crucial, which is where the comprehensive consultation process comes in.

The public consultation opened in April and will close on 24 July 2024.

Nautilus took part in the initial evidence gathering phase, which involved interested nautical industry bodies. The Union broadly agreed with the proposed new composition of crews and new crewing regime proposed by the European Transport Workers' Federation and the Dutch government. Nautilus International pointed out in its evidence that it is of 'paramount importance that the industry can operate safely under the new manning regime and that government agencies can adequately monitor compliance with this regime'.

Nautilus believes the introduction of digital tools for recording work and rest times should be regulated at European level – not only for safety but also to maintain a level playing field in the sector. The Union has also called for more clarity from the European Commission on monitoring and compliance, particularly around the digitalisation of all documents used on board.